A Saanich man was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court for an attack during a Merville break-in and other offences in 2018. (Black Press file photo)

A Saanich man was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court for an attack during a Merville break-in and other offences in 2018. (Black Press file photo)

B.C. shooting victim offered his attacker drink, money, washroom

14-year sentence: bullet is still lodged in the victim, too dangerous to remove

The victim of a break-in at a Merville home on March 14, 2018 offered his late-night intruder a drink when the unwanted guest was thirsty.

Robert Scott also let Richard Daniel Yves Vigneault use his washroom. He asked if the visitor needed help and fetched $40 to give to Vigneault.

None of this prevented Scott from being attacked though.

In fact, according to the reasons for sentencing released Thursday, Vigneault raised a handgun at Scott, who closed his eyes. The gun jammed at first, but then Vigneault fired the gun at Scott’s face. The bullet entered the jaw and made a path through the victim’s head, resting adjacent to the cervical vertebrae.

“It remains there to this day. It is too dangerous to attempt to remove it because of the risk of paralysis,” Justice Robin Baird wrote in his decision.

The attack on Scott was just one of a few incidents for which the accused had been arrested three years ago. These all took place between March 12 and 15, 2018. To start, Vigneault broke into a Courtenay home and stole various items on March 12. The break-in and attack on Scott followed at about 1 a.m. on March 14, with Vigneault fleeing the scene immediately after Scott’s brother called for help.

About five hours later, Vigneault was found inside the garage at another Merville home spray-painting some hockey shoulder pads. He was asked to leave, which he did, though with the pads and a duffel bag. Later that day, a farmer found a bike taken from the Courtenay home, and investigators took a DNA swab from its handlebars.

Around midnight, Vigneault turned up in the basement of a yet another Merville home. The homeowner asked what he was doing, but Vigneault said nothing. He was described as “very drunk” and passed out. He was found to have stolen property, and police were able to arrest him without incident.

RELATED STORY: Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Last month in B.C. Supreme Court in Courtenay, Vigneault pleaded guilty to multiple counts. The charges included four counts of break-and-enter, two of firearms possession and single counts of discharging a firearm with intent, aggravated assault and carrying a concealed weapon. The sentence amounted to 14 years, though with credit for time prior to the sentencing, Vigneault’s time to be served equals nine years and three months.

The judge took into account mitigating and aggravating factors. The accused had several convictions, including assault, but he had never served a sentence of more than 30 days. A psychological report noted addictions and mental health issues, including bipolar disorder. As to why he had a gun, he had said, “I was going to Tofino. The reason I had the gun was to do some hunting or commit suicide.”

Baird referred to the term “home invasion,” but suggested it implies an attack with premeditation or knowledge that people are home at the time of the break-in.

“It could be argued that the break-in to the Scott home was more random than targeted or premeditated. The accused had no idea who lived there, or what kind of people the occupants might be. It is not obvious to me that he entered the house with a fixed intention of doing violence,” the judge wrote.

However, the judge did not accept the accused had any major mental illness contributing to the attack, beyond self-induced intoxication. He also cited the severity of the crime.

“He was armed with an illegal handgun. He used the handgun to commit a life-endangering assault. He caused Mr. Scott serious and permanent injury. These are profoundly aggravating factors,” Baird added.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

crime

Just Posted

Land along Prince Rupert’s waterfront, PID 012-247-391, where residents say excessive industrial train noise is stemming from, has been found to be owned by the City of Prince Rupert and is not federal land like first presented, Prince Rupert Environmental Society stated on June 17. (Image: supplied by Land Title and Survey, Govt. of BC.)
Error found on land titles map may assist city with noise control enforcement of industry

Prince Rupert residents had been told there was no municipal jurisdiction to enforce noise bylaws

Department of Oceans and Fisheries has announced as of July 19 chinook salmon is not to be fished in certain areas in BC tidal waters until July. Spring chinook salmon are seen swimming. (Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Chinook Salmon limits set to zero in some BC tidal waters

DFO implement restrictions to protect Chinook Salmon

Visitors to a pop-up temporary aquarium in Prince Rupert will have the chance to see marine ecology from July 21 to Aug. 15, like this viewer watching sea anemones at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert pop-up aquarium will bring sea level to eye level in July

A permanent peak to reef ecology centre is in the planning stages by North Coast Ecology Society

Prince Rupert’s Ellen Wright and Graeme Dickens jam out during filming the two Ring System Studio concerts to be broadcast on television during June. (Photo: supplied, H. Cox)
Ring System Studio sounds on television

Two concerts by the Prince Rupert music school will be broadcast in June

Commerical marijuana grow ops that are budding up in Prince Rupert’s downtown core are legal and out of the city’s jurisdiction, Mayor Lee Brain said, on June 14. (Photo:supplied/K-J Millar)
Prince Rupert downtown’s pretty dope

Marijuana operations grow in the Prince Rupert city core

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read